Challenges of Raising Kids Series
All-Aboard! It’s time for another round on the rollercoaster!
Now that you have diapers, feedings, and toddler tantrums behind you, it’s all aboard the frenzy train again.
Are you ready?
Hang on, because it’s going to be a bumpy, bone jiggling, take your breath away kind of ride!
What is a ‘tween?’
When a child approaches their 10th birthday, they enter ‘tweendom’ which is the predecessor of teenhood.
This is a rocky time in their lives because their bodies are changing, their interests are changing, and independence rears its ugly head quite frequently.
Once we are done with raising babies and toddlers, we enter the calm waters where we can enjoy our kids.
Ages 4-9 are a time where our kids still want to cuddle, hug, be with mom and dad, and play. These are perhaps the most carefree years in raising children.
There comes a day when you drive your child to school, and you go to kiss or hug them goodbye, and they push you away because you are embarrassing them.
It’s coming! It happens to every parent. This is typically a good indicator that your child is about to enter into another phase of growing up.
Tweens struggle with puberty, and it’s a challenging time in their life because they have trouble understanding what’s happening to them.
Boy’s voices begin to crackle between a high pitch and low tone, and that’s not something they want to happen when they are in front of their friends.
Girls especially go through significant changes as they begin to pass over from being little girls to becoming a young woman.
As mothers, we must make sure we maneuver this mine-field called puberty carefully.
For new parents, this can be a confusing time trying to adapt to change and to be supportive of your kids.
Handling with Care
Both father and mother must step in at this point in children’s lives and fulfill the male/female duty of explaining to your children what’s happening with their bodies.
Let them know it’s normal and all part of God’s design.
You will face rejection from your kids, so it’s important to hang in there and seek your strength in prayer and trust that God is going to light your path with instruction.
Reflect on your childhood as you entered your tweens.
Did you have conflicting emotions where you didn’t want your parents around, but at the same time, you did?
You may not have wanted hugs or kisses, but deep down, you needed them.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to give your tween the space they need while also providing them love, respect, and support.
Verbally tell them you are there for them and that you understand what they are going through.
The fierce adversity that rises up in tweens at times can break a parent’s heart as harsh words escape from your child’s mouth unexpectedly.
Don’t take it personally and take heart knowing that it’s a phase in their life. At the same time, discipline with love.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
Embrace the Change
Walking the fine line of dealing with your tween in a positive and Godly manner will help them as they cross over yet another bridge into their teens.
Saturate yourself in scripture and pray for you and your child daily.
As we enter into the various phases of raising our children, God desires that we embrace each stage and have a joyful heart.
He has entrusted us to do the best we can to raise them to fear the Lord, respect others and themselves.
When you find your tween alone in their bedroom or a quiet area, snuggle in to next to them and hold them.
Let them know they are loved and valued. No matter how old our children get, they crave a parents love and acceptance.
Lastly, find a support system among family and friends who have gone through raising tweens.
They are a great source of advice and insight. We love you, dear sister, and know that God has fully equipped you to be the best mother you can be!
Prayer For Parents of Tweens
I come to you to thank you for blessing me with my child. I am struggling with a lack of understanding of what I need to provide to him/her in their time of need.
Father, help me to be strong and guide me in my parenting skills. Help me to forgive when words pierce my heart or actions hurt my feelings.
Help me to love my child through their frustrations. I pray for your protection over them and that you would ease the burden of physical and emotional changes that are occurring within their body.
Please protect them from peer pressure and help them to rise above the temptation to sin.
Equip me, Lord, for I can’t do this on my own. I trust you, Lord. For I pray these things in Jesus’ name. – Amen